Western Cape’s Winter Wheat in Good Shape (For Now)

In the week of 01 June 2018, the Swartland region of the Western Cape province received good showers of between 20 and 40 millimetres, which bodes well for winter wheat crop at its current stage of development.

In the Overberg region, the newly emerged winter wheat crop is also in good condition, thanks to the recent showers. In the Southern Cape region, planting activity is almost complete, also boosted by slight improvement in soil moisture.

The improvement in Western Cape province’s weather conditions is also evident in dam levels which averaged 19 percent in the week of 28 May 2018, up by 2 percentage points from the previous week (ending 21 May 2018) and a percentage point from the corresponding period last year (2017).

However, all is not rosy. While the recent showers have slightly improved topsoil moisture, the province needs intense and persistent rainfall in order to replenish subsoil moisture, which will then benefit the crop.

Fortunately, the South African Weather Service and International Research Institute for Climate Change Society forecast a possibility of above-normal rainfall in the Western Cape province between June and September 2018.

Follow me on Twitter (@WandileSihlobo). E-mail: wandile@agbiz.co.za

Author: Wandile Sihlobo

Wandile Sihlobo is an agricultural economist and head of agribusiness research at the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) in South Africa. He is a columnist for Business Day and Farmers Weekly magazine. Sihlobo is a member of the South African Agricultural Economics Association. He has previously served as an economist at Grain South Africa. He holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Stellenbosch University.

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